Soil analysis is routinely undertaken for site contamination assessment, agricultural soil management, and investigating the effects of invasive species on soil quality. The organic matter in soils makes up a small fraction of the bulk, but is important for the regulation of water content, plant nutrients and retention of environmental pollutants.
Combined with sampling accessories such as Specac’s Golden Gate ATR, Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a rapid and effective tool for characterising the organic matter in soils. It can be used to study how plants affect the composition of soil organic matter for both ecological and agricultural purposes. It has also been used to assess the efficacy of biochars, which have been suggested as a potential remedy for soil contamination by heavy metals.